14th Manga Division Critiques

Interest in verifying historical significance of the past

The many of the final candidates of Award-Winning Works of the Manga Division that won the votes of the jury dealt with history.
These include HISTORIE which portrayed the rise and fall of ancient Greece and Macedonia, Fuuunji-tachi bakumatsuhen which depicted the history of the Edo Period on the eve of opening up the country in an easy-to-understand manner, and RED which told the story of the United Red Army.
The jury also had discussions on Bokurano, the story of fighting in a robot that causes the death of the pilot, Ore to Neko-Nyan that portrayed the everyday life of the manga artist with his much-loved cat with comedy, and KOKO NO HITO which depicted the solitary fight of a climber.
The winner of the Grand Prize was HISTORIE. Because the story is still being serialized and is only an introductory section of a full-length work, there were voices that it was too early to award the prize. However, the majority of opinions were that the work fully deserves the prize even if it is an introductory section.
There were also tours de force in which expert knowledge was exhibited by manga, such as Fantasium, the story of how a boy magician grows up and succeeds, and Tomehane!, the story of the progress of a high school student belonging to the calligraphy club and the intricacies of calligraphy.
In a way I miss the unrealistic absurd works that used to be the mainstream of manga which are difficult to find these days, but this should be considered the maturation of the manga culture.
Culture acts in concert with society. The aging Japanese society may be shifting its interest to the verification of historical significance of the past rather than hopes and visions for the future.

Head of the Jury / Manga Artist
Born in Ishikawa prefecture, 1945. After working as an assistant for ISHINOMORI Shotaro, NAGAI Go debuted with Meaka-shi Polikichi (Detective Polikichi) in "Bokura" (published by Kodansha) in 1967. In the following year, he started a series Harenchi Gakuen (Shameless School) in "Shonen Jump", which immediately became a great success. Since then, he has continued to present many works in a wide range of genres. His major works include Harenchi Gakuen, Devilman, Mazinger Z, Violence Jack, Cutie Honey and many others. He became a professor of the Character Creative Arts Department of Osaka University of Arts in 2005.